Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Sure things about the Savior's prophecy: 1. The shortness of our time in this world (vs. 1-2). 2. That we must seek spiritual truth (vs. 3-5). 3. The great blessing of salvation (vs. 6-13). 4. God's desire for us to share His gospel (vs. 14).

The Second Coming of Christ - Part 1

Matthew 24:1-14

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - May 27, 2015

*Jesus Christ is coming again! There is no doubt about it. Here in Matthew 24, the Lord looks into the future, and He speaks about His second coming.

*Some of the things Jesus says here are mysterious, like: Will the rapture of the church be before or after the tribulation? And when will the Lord return? The timing may not be sure, but the signs are definitely sure. And everything the Lord said would happen will happen. So tonight we will start by looking at some sure things about the Savior's prophecy:

1. The first sure thing is the shortness of our time in this world.

*In vs. 1-2, Jesus reminds us how fragile most things are in our world:

1. Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came to Him to show Him the buildings of the temple.

2. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.''

*This prophecy was fulfilled just 40 short years after Jesus spoke these words. From a historical point of view, it was fulfilled in 70 AD, when the Roman army under Titus conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple. In July or August every year, the destruction of the Temple is still mourned by a day-long Jewish fast called Tisha B'Av. (1)

[PIC 1] This is the famous Arch of Titus that shows the plunder of Jerusalem and the Temple. It was constructed in 82 AD, and still stands in Rome.

[PIC 2] This picture is part of the sculpture on the inner arch, and it shows the "Spoils of Jerusalem."

*That's the historical dimension of this prophecy from the Lord Jesus. From a spiritual point of view, God was making the monumental shift from the Old Testament to the New. For 1,500 years the Tabernacle and then the Temples had been the absolute center point of Biblical worship. But the cross of Jesus Christ changed everything. Matthew 27:51 tells us that the curtain covering the Holy of Holies in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. God was opening the way for all of the nations of the world to be saved.

*In the Old Testament, God focused primarily on the Jews, and when He spoke, He spoke in Hebrew, the language of the Jews. In New Testament times, God reaches out to all the nations of the world. And when He spoke the New Testament portion of His Word, God spoke in Greek, the world-wide language of business in that day.

*God would no longer manifest His presence in that one sacred spot of the Temple. Now God would live in the hearts of everyone who believes in Jesus. That is a small summary of the spiritual dimension of this prophecy.

*But there is also a personal lesson for us, and that is the shortness of our time in this world. Here in Matthew 24, the disciples were, on the way out of town, and they stopped to admire the Temple. "Lord, take a look. Isn't it wonderful? Aren't you impressed?" Jesus wasn't impressed. In fact, He wanted them to see how fragile and fleeting the things of this world are.

2. And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.''

*It's as if the Lord said, "All these things will be gone before you know it!" There is not a building in this world that will last forever. What's true of buildings is truer still of our bodies. Life is short. Listen to this warning from James 4:

13. Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit'';

14. whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.

15. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.''

*Time is short! Several years ago, I went to West Virginia with Mary, and we made a visit to her daddy's grave. The cemetery moves up a beautiful, steep hill behind a little country church that was founded in the late 1700s. Mary's dad lies near the top of that hill, maybe four or five stories above the roof of the church. It's the kind of setting that makes you feel connected to our past.

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